Launched in 2022 to boost the development of artists who required support to move to the next stage of their careers, Step Up provides up to 10 awardees with financial support of up to £8,000, alongside a broader package of benefits. These include a one-year membership of the FAC, a 12-month subscription to Amazon Music, an Echo device as well as content creation opportunities with Amazon Music.
Artists can apply for support on any music-related projects over the course of a 12-month period, for activities such as recording, releasing, content creation, marketing and touring.
Applications are welcome from UK-based artists aged 18-plus. Applicants must have released at least three songs within the last year, with a minimum of 15,000 streams per song or one song with 45,000 streams on a chart-eligible UK streaming service and must not have an ongoing agreement with a major or large independent record label.
Artists or their managers/team can apply here from Tuesday May 9. The submission deadline is 11:59pm on Friday, May 26.
Successful Step Up applicants will be decided by a panel of independent industry professionals, and announced in June 2023.
In 2022, nine artists received support from the FAC Step Up Fund supported by Amazon Music - Daniel Casimir, Friedberg, Lvra, Joel Culpepper, Elkka, Nineteen97, Cherise, Deyah and Vukovi.
David Martin, FAC CEO, said: "I am delighted to announce the return of the FAC Step Up Fund powered by Amazon Music. The FAC is here to support every kind of artist, but we felt there was a specific challenge facing those who had demonstrated huge potential and a level of success, but required further support to take the next step in their career journey as they strive to build an audience and develop their art.
“Last year’s awardees were drawn from an incredibly diverse set of genres, and with generous support of our partners, Amazon Music, it is hugely satisfying to see what they’ve accomplished. They should be a real inspiration for those intending to apply this time around."
We look forward to making a difference to many more artists this year
Joel Culpepper, one of 2022’s awardees, used Step Up funding to supplement production of the EP follow-up to his debut album, and contribute to touring costs, including appearances at the North Sea Jazz Festival, Montreux Jazz Festival and supporting Tom Misch on tour.
“Step Up has offered a great support structure for myself in an uncertain time,” said Joel Culpepper. “Touring internationally was extremely testing, even with some of the incredible opportunities that were presented at my doorstep. The fund allowed me to participate in those tours, as well as beginning work on my forthcoming EP, Happiness Is Only A Few Miles Away."
Friedberg, who used the funding to self-release recordings and pay for PR and marketing costs, said: “Step Up is an amazing new fund that supports up-and-coming-artists. It helped me to self-release my latest single, Never Gonna Pay The Rent, and to fund visuals with an amazing director, Anthony Dickenson, as well as support my digital marketing campaign while we were touring in the US with Hot Chip.”
Laura Lukanz, head of music industry, UK, Australia & New Zealand at Amazon Music, added: “Amazon Music is incredibly passionate about championing and elevating the next generation of artists, so we’re really excited to work with the FAC again to provide this invaluable support to many more unsigned artists over the next year. It’s wonderful to hear how the fund has helped the 2022 awardees during some crucial moments in their careers and we look forward to making a difference to many more artists this year.”
Amazon Music also has its global developing artist programme, Breakthrough, which provides long-term, customised global plans for emerging artists during crucial moments in their careers. This support includes: video and audio content, global marketing, increased visibility across Amazon Music playlists and programming and Amazon Original tracks.